Book: Fields Of Blood: Religion And The History Of Violence

Karen Armstrong
Bodley Head, €12.99, ebook €15.99
Review: Dean Haigh

World-renowned religious scholar and bestselling author of A History Of God, Karen Armstrong’s latest work attempts to debunk the idea that religion has been the prime cause of major wars throughout history.

She takes us on an epic journey, from prehistoric times to the present day and argues that, rather than religion causing state-sanctioned violence, war is a symptom of, and a necessity of, modern agrarian societies —built upon the idea of imperialism and violent control as the most effective way to achieve peace, while increasing the accumulation of land and wealth for the privileged few.

Well researched, insightful and revelatory, as is par for Armstrong’s work, here she offers a compelling argument that a warrior ethos, which developed from agrarian aggression, became bound up with the sacred. This then permeated all aspects of such societies in their infancies.


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